Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fathers can take care of kids, too

On Facebook, Sonya S. asks: "Wondering again this morning whose genius idea it was to make Mothers have to work full time while trying to manage children and all the issues, illnesses, and injuries that come with them."

There are dads at the playgrounds, too, these days. My wife and I discussed which one of us would stay home with the kid. In our case, my wife stayed home but it could have been the other way around. I determined to be fully involved with my son's upbringing and changed his first diaper. We took turns staying home with him when he was sick.

What I found, in running the numbers, is that, due to the marriage penalty, the second family income is taxed at a much higher rate. By the time you add up extra taxes, clothes, day care and transportation, it can actually reduce the family's income more when both parents work than it does for one to stay home. Although I understand that it has been reduced, the marriage penalty is worst if both parents earn above average salaries. In fact, we filed separately in some years to save tax (We paid less Federal tax but more Ohio tax. The net effect was in our favor by several hundred dollars.).

The comments above are based on two-parent families. I don't know if Sonya is married or not. Obviously, if there is just one parent, having one parent working and the other managing the kids isn't an option.

Edited March 26 to fix editing.

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